A lazy teen normally glued to his mobile phone got a dose of reality after being sent to live with an OAP.
Unemployed wannabe rapper Tyler, 18, meets with go-getting Barb, 70, as part of 5STAR’s new social experiment Old School for Lazy Teens.
Expecting to meet a ‘stuck up’ pensioner Tyler soon gets a wake-up call when he comes face-to-face with the proactive Barb, who sees ‘life for living’ and wouldn’t dream of being sat on her behind playing video games.
She challenges Tyler’s indifferent attitude and puts him straight to the test doing chores, cooking and gaining invaluable work experience.
The two-day experiment sees Tyler breaking down in tears during a volunteering session at an old people’s care home, that changes his views on his own life for good.
Go-getting Barb is a force to be reckoned with. She was 18 when she had her first child and a year later had her second and single-handedly raised them both.
Tyler believes in the beginning that OAPs wake up do the crossword, drink tea and know nothing about technology.
But that isn’t the case for ‘recycled teenager’ Barb who went to South Africa to learn about wildlife conservation and photography when she retired at 60.
‘In my head I’m an 18-year-old but the rest of me may not be! But where does time go? It goes by too quick,’ she says in the reality-doc.
When the pair go for pie and mash to get to know each other, Tyler tells Barb: ‘I think that old people are stuck up and god’s gift.’
But as she tells him about her life he soon begins to change his tune and realises he needs to learn to lift a finger.
‘I’d be happy if I’d done half the things she’s accomplished she’s proved to me that no matter how old you are you never stop learning,’ he ponders.
After a spot of work experience on a market stall and a spot of line dancing, Barb takes Tyler to a care home where she volunteers.
He quickly becomes overwhelmed when he meets the elderly inhabitants who can no longer fully care for themselves.
The teen has to step outside to gather himself where he remarks how painful it is to see people who were once so full of life.
‘At one point they were my age and getting up to mischief and now they can’t even get words out. It’s heartbreaking and it’s really emotional.
‘One day my parents will be in that situation, it’s heartbreaking it really is,’ Tyler says.
After a quick hug and a pep talk from Barb, Tyler heads back in to do the tea round and he has an epiphany.
‘Even just a little experience like that has made me think I need to be helping out more, I need to be volunteering, because if people my age got more into this then I think they would start valuing the world more, valuing their life more, respecting their life a hell of a lot more than they do now.
‘I took my life for granted, I am 18 years old, yes, but I still have afternoon naps, it just made me want to value life a hell of a lot more than I do now.’
He adds: ‘There is more to life than a mobile phone.’
The pair cement their newfound bond over a takeaway and Tyler has to hold back tears as Barb gives him a handwritten letter speaking of their experience.
Tyler then treats Barb to a night out on the town taking her to one of his favourite haunts on Brick Lane for rum punch before he shares a rap he wrote in honour of his new best pal.
‘Day one was a new level, I met Barb she deserves a medal, she makes me want to put the gas to the pedal. I’ve learned so much, she’s inspirational,’ he reads before thanking her.
The pair vow to remain in touch and it’s revealed that Tyler secured himself a new job as a labourer.
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